Notices served to dozens of known gang members in Anaheim Wednesday warn them that if two or more even stand together, they could be arrested. The injunction implements a 1 square-mile "safety zone." Vikki Vargas reports from Anaheim for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Jan.16, 2013.
Notices served to known gang members in Anaheim Wednesday is clear: if two or more of them even stand together, they could be arrested.
Under the injunction – the 12th brought against OC gangs, the fourth in the city of Anaheim – Eastside gang members are barred from standing, sitting, walking, driving or biking through a 1 square-mile safety zone stretching from Orangethorpe Avenue to Sycamore Street and from East Street to State College Boulevard.
Prosecutors named 54 gang members and the gang itself in the injunction. Authorities said since 2008, there have been three murders, 86 incidents of gun possession, burglaries and vandalism all tied to the same gang.
"They attract rivals to the neighborhood by their mere presence," said Deputy District Attorney Susan Eckermann. "Those rivals want to exact revenge and innocent people get caught up in that violence."
The safety zone (pictured below at right) includes Anna Drive, which is where Manuel Diaz was shot and killed by police last summer, sparking citywide protests that, at times, became violent. Police said Diaz was a gang member, but his family said he was unarmed during the fatal shooting.
Angelica Anaya moved to Anna Drive about three months ago. "A lot of people say it, but I don’t see nothing bad around here," Anaya said.
Jose has lived in the neighborhood for a decade, but he has doubts about giving police more authority to make arrests based on clothing and tattoos. And wounds from last summer’s spate of police shootings are still fresh.
"They really want to be our neighbor," he said. "They act like they’re on our side, but it’s going to be a long time before we can really trust them again."